Efficient information sharing among rescue personnel is crucial for a successful rescue operation. If computer networks were actively used by the rescue personnel, it would allow for more efficient communication, and information sharing in general, compared to standard walkie-talkies still in use today (often more than one at a time). However, emergency and rescue operations present the system with a number of characteristic requirements, compared to traditional networks. The most significant difference is that the network must be built up by the rescue personnel on the spot, and that the presence of existing infrastructure cannot be relied on. Moreover, the rescue personnel’s movements make the network topology very dynamic and unstable. We call this type of networks mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs).
In this thesis, we analyze in detail the requirements for usage of MANETs in emergency and rescue operations, with particular focus on security and data sharing. Based on this analysis, the thesis suggests solutions to a selected set of major challenges. The thesis’ main contributions are threefold.
The first contribution is a concrete solution for one of the main security issues, namely ensuring that only authorized personnel has access to the network. This is achieved by means of a simple and efficient key exchange protocol that relies on device credentials being installed prior to the operation.
Next, the thesis contributes with a shared data space that can be used to efficiently and robustly distribute information among the rescue personnel. The distributed nature of the data space is transparent to the applications, as well as the fact that data versioning is performed for the purposes of consistency, conflict resolution, and auditing. Data placement in such a distributed and dynamic environment has to be performed with outmost care. In the cases where network topology or the applications’ access pattern to the data space are unknown upfront, we show that placing replicas on 10 % well chosen nodes, achieved e.g. by means of clustering techniques, leads to close-to-optimal placement with regards to network usage.
The final contribution of this thesis is a network emulation test-bed implemented to facilitate development of specialized applications and protocols for MANETs. The test-bed has been utilized in a number of Master’s and PhD theses, demonstrating its usefulness and flexibility with respect to development time and cost, as well as choice of programming languages.
List of papers.
Matija Pužar, Thomas Plagemann, Yves Roudier: Security and Privacy Issues in Middleware for Emergency and Rescue Applications. In: The 1st International Workshop on MObile and DIstributed approaches in Emergency Scenarios (MODIES 2008), Tampere, Finland, January 2008.
Matija Pužar, Jon Andersson, Thomas Plagemann, Yves Roudier: SKiMPy: A Simple Key Management Protocol for MANETs in Emergency and Rescue Operations. In: The 2nd European Workshop on Security and Privacy in Ad hoc and Sensor Networks (ESAS 2005), July 2005.
Also published at UiO as Technical Report #319 .
The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Matija Pužar, Thomas Plagemann: A Network Emulator for Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks. IN: The 8th International Conference on Telecommunications (ConTEL 2005), Zagreb, Croatia, June 2005.
Also published at UiO as Technical Report #321.
Thomas Plagemann, Katrine Stemland Skjelsvik, Matija Pužar, Aslak Johannessen, Ovidiu Valentin Drugan, Vera Goebel, Ellen Munthe-Kaas: Cross-layer Overlay Synchronization in Sparse MANETs. In: The 5th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis. Response and Management (ISCRAM 2008), Washington DC, USA, May 2008.
http://www.iscram.org/dmdocuments/ISCRAM2008/papers/ISCRAM2008_Plagemann_etal.pdfISCRAM2008 Copyright Notice.
Ellen Munthe-Kaas, Aslak Johannessen, Matija Pužar, Thomas Plagemann: Information Sharing in Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks: Metadata Management in the MIDAS Dataspace. In:The 10th International Conference on Mobile Data Management: Systems, Services and Middleware, Taipei, Taiwan, May 2009.
Matija Pužar, Katrine Stemland Skjelsvik, Thomas Plagemann, Ellen Munthe-Kaas: Information Sharing in Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks: Evaluation of the MIDAS Data Space Prototype. In: The 2nd International Workshop on Specialized Ad Hoc Networks and Systems (SAHNS 2009), Toronto, Canada, June 2009.
Matija Pužar, Thomas Plagemann: Evaluation of Replica Placement Strategies for Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks. In: The 13th International Conference on Network-Based Information Systems (NBiS-2010), Takayama, Gifu, Japan, 2010.